Just What Time Is It Anyway?

Just What Time Is It Anyway?

The clocks are changing this weekend.

Daylight savings and the semi-annual changing of time always reminds me of the one time, in 1988, when I almost missed my plane due to human error. The “human” meaning, of course, me. I arrived for my flight with more than an hour to spare, or so I thought. Realizing my error, in an amazing feat that could never be repeated today without arrest, I ran to the departure gate, leaped over the rope barricade and ran down the gangway. I startled the pilots whose cockpit was level with the end of the gangway as the plane had started pushing away from the gate. Fortunately they answered my silent pleadings, pulled the plane back, opened the door, and let me aboard. This was my most memorable instance of missing the daylight savings time change.

Changing clocks twice a year is normal for most Canadians, except those living in Saskatchewan. There is still frustration for Saskatchewanians, however, as television feeds come from neighbouring areas where daylight savings time is the norm, and therefore television programming times shift. So whether you change your clocks or not, no one in Canada is immune to the bi-annual system of changing time. It plays havoc with everyone. It messes with internal clocks and causes distress when, like me, timings are missed due to forgetting to reset clocks.

To make matters worse, many people do business with countries around the world and not every country changes time or, if they do, not on the same schedule. My daughter in New Zealand can be 16, 17, or even 18 hours ahead of me depending on the time of year. Thank goodness for world clock apps!

Adding to the time change frustration, quite often there is one tricky clock in your life that isn’t easy to change. There is no universal system to reset electronic gadgets. It used to be easy with old watches and clocks that you just pulled a pin and twisted the hands back. Usability at its best! Today, though, every electronic clock sets differently and many are not very intuitive. I have learned to reset my oven and microwave but my second-hand car without an owners’ manual gives me trouble. For now, often I get in the car and wonder where the time has gone only to return home and relax when I find the elusive hour.

At least I know that if I don’t figure it out, it will correct itself eventually. And in the meantime, with my clock potentially ahead an hour, I won’t be missing any flights!

Dianne Pinder

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Dianne Pinder

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